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Author Topic: Struggling with Games  (Read 1709 times)

nathanielmark

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Struggling with Games
« on: March 11, 2004, 09:12:41 AM »
I am taking the LSAT in june.  games have always been difficult for me, but I have gotten to a place with my diagramming and timing where I feel somewhat confident about them. 

I really need only complete 3 games nearly correctly, with maybe a question or 2 right out of the 4th to get in the high range of my scores.  This realization has done much to alleviate the time pressure I feel when working on this section.

Yet one problem continues to plague me.  I am not dyslexic, but for some reason, I frequently will transpose rules and go thru half a game in the wrong direction.  For example, I will read 2 statements saying "A does not go with X, B does not go with Y", the next statement will say "C goes with U" yet I will diagram it as "C does not go with U".  I recognized this problem early on, and thought I would not make these mistakes anymore, yet even with a conscience effort I still do.

It probably sounds ridiculous, but after taking 8 Full tests, and still making these same mistakes, i am wondering if i am just incapable.

Has anyone experienced similar problems?  I am particularly intersted if anyone came up with a method for overcoming this weakness.

thanks.

mamabear

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Re: Struggling with Games
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2004, 12:28:18 PM »
I feel your pain. The highest I ever scored on the game section in practice was 55%. I didn't have your problem of transposing rules, it just took me too long to work through each game. Untimed, I got them all easily.

The date of the actual test (in December) there was a blizzard, and it took me 2.5 hours to drive to the center. (It was already a makeup test, due to an earlier snow storm, so they didn't cancel.) I was exhausted and so stressed. I didn't have time to practice some games I knew beforehand, which Kaplan so rightly preaches. My mind was numb and I stumbled badly through the first section: games! I guessed on most of it, and couldn't even get some of the acceptability questions. It was not a case of only getting 3 of the games or only 2; for the first time ever, I couldn't get any!! I could not have possibly scored more than 4 -5  points overall; it was worse than any practice test I'd done ever. Luckily, I didn't lose my cool and whizzed through the rest of the test. If I don't get in where I want to go, I will take the test again in June, and I'll know what to do...

So here's advice from the front for anyone with games issues:

1. Keep at the games daily and practice with a timer. Write the rules down very slowly and carefully the first time, so you don't have to second guess yourself.

2. Put aside some games that you have done several times successfully and review them the morning of the test. This is critical, believe it or not.

3. Focus on your strengths. The LR sections are easy once you recognize the question and answer types. Do every old test you possibly can under strict conditions. You want to get to the point where you barely need to read the questions to answer them. I think the Kaplan methods are very strong for this, but you need to do a lot on your own.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

MB

dsds3581

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Re: Struggling with Games
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2004, 05:48:53 PM »
No offense, but this is an error that really shouldn't be happening. I've had trouble with knowing HOW to transpose rules, as you call it, but never mis-writing one. I would think checking each re-write against each original rule very carefully after writing all of them and making sure you wrote the right thing would, not necessarily be helpful in stopping you from doing this but should, help you catch it before you mess up entire Games.

Are you rushing? Maybe trying to get to 4 Games instead of just 3 and making careless mistakes such as mis-reading and mis-writing? If so, just take the time and slow down and focus on doing the 3 Games you do carefully. You don't HAVE to do 4. Many people can't do 4, but many of them also do still make a good score.

Louder Than Bombs

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Re: Struggling with Games
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2004, 05:44:39 AM »

I guessed on most of it, and couldn't even get some of the acceptability questions.

Firstly, let me say I am sorry to hear about your LSAT snowstorm ordeal. That is complete bull - I would try and appeal to LSAC if possible. If not, re-take the test and make a note of your experience when you apply. If you show a marked improvement AdComs will notice it. Also, you could even make a humorous story out of it (that is, if you re-take and do much better)...

Acceptibility questions are easy points, however. Personally, I never understood why people stress the games - I always enjoyed them.

But, most people are game-aphopes. Remember, however, that the LSAT IS ALL ABOUT LOGICAL REASONING. Games is usually the smallest section, with only about 24 questions. If you can get yourself to the point where you are getting 6-8 questions wrong on that section, and you kick ass on LR you will be golden. I don't think that 6-8 wrong is a tough goal - almost all games have at least one or two easy money questions (such as acceptibility questions or questions that you can answer straight from your diagram).

Buy a Kaplan book and learn their diagrams, and also try to truly grasp the concept of 'limited options'.

However, most importantly, keep cool, and realize you can get 1-2 wrong per game and still get a very respectible score...as long as you do well on LR.

Chris

mamabear

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Re: Struggling with Games
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2004, 09:38:23 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, Chris; they were all good. The funny thing is, I love doing the games, even if I am slow at them, but driving fatigue and anxiety obviously got in the way. Had that first section been the experimental one, I would have warmed up and been OK. But no such luck.

I am actually a little suspicious about one of the logic games, the third in the section, a matching game where you had to match park features (hotdog stands, maybe, I forget exactly) to parks or playgrounds. I set it up but none of the acceptability questions worked. I checked it over and over, to no avail, so I was stuck.

Did anyone out there take the same test? It was an undisclosed makeup test at Yale Dec. 14 at noon. Maybe it wasn't me, maybe the question was just badly worded. I would feel so much better if someone else noticed it, or had the same problem. It's a long shot, but ...

MB

nathanielmark

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Re: Struggling with Games
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2004, 09:17:20 AM »
dsds3581, I owe you one.  What you said made a lot of sense.  I need to quit feeling victimized and just make sure I read more carefully.

Last night I took another timed section.  I slowed down during my initial setup, reading each rule slowly a couple of times.  By slowing down, I actually was able to better ingrain the rules into my head and wound up getting thru the questions quicker.  I missed just 3 questions on the whole section, which I did not even think I was capable of.

I am now thinking that my chief problem is a lack of the utmost concentration on games.  I am very much a big picture person, who struggles with details and I really need to force myself to concentrate on these things.  By the last game I caught myself spacing out a tiny bit, but was able to correct it.

While I dont expect to do that well regularly, I now have hope to do fairly well on the games sections and will continue to practice, while placing a high priority on concentration.

The irony in all this may be that my weakness in misdiagramming rules, may ultimately lead me to a better games performance by forcing me to concentrate more.

this also underscores the importance of practice, i took 10 timed sections and blew 2 of them, while losing some time on a couple others because of this problem.  If i had not been practicing as much as I am, I would never have the chance to figure this stuff out.

Louder Than Bombs

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Re: Struggling with Games
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2004, 11:38:55 AM »
I am actually a little suspicious about one of the logic games, the third in the section, a matching game where you had to match park features (hotdog stands, maybe, I forget exactly) to parks or playgrounds. I set it up but none of the acceptability questions worked. I checked it over and over, to no avail, so I was stuck.

First off, you should not have to set anything up in order to answer an acceptibility question. All you need are the rules - be definition, an unacceptable sequence or set is one that violates one or more of the rules.

So, do not refer to your diagram when answering these questions - refer directly to the rules. Perhaps you made an error in your diagram, and that is why you couldn't answer the question.

Chris